While Katy Perry is gearing up for the upcoming six studio album, Smile, while also carrying her child whom she will share with Orlando Bloom — she looks back at the arduous journey that led her to this very moment.
“Every day your options change, and you don’t know what’s what. Especially being pregnant in a pandemic, it’s an emotional rollercoaster,” Perry 35, tells PEOPLE in its latest cover story.
But through her darkest days, Perry says she now feels equipped to handle whatever comes her way.
“Having a great partner, having a sound mind, continuing to do the work, I’m not as flinchable,” says Perry who found relief from a deep depression with a combination of medication, therapy and support from loved ones. “I’m not untouchable or invincible, but it’s a little bit more like water off a duck’s back.”
As Perry prepares for the release of Smile — which the singer says is “full of hopefulness, full of resilience, full of joy and love” — she is also looking back on how far she’s come from 2017, when her album Witness failed to make the same impact as her previous record-breaking records.
“After being on a rocket ship and just going straight up, it was just a small change in the trajectory, but it felt seismic,” says Perry, who had also put her then-yearlong romance with Bloom on pause. “It’s been two-and-a-half years of trying to find my footing. It’s so easy for me to work, work, work and avoid, but I had to go on a mental and spiritual journey.”
Perry said her lowest moments felt like a “nightmare,” saying how “you feel like you’re being attacked, and you can’t wake up.” But as the singer began taking “baby steps” and adopting tools to cope, the singer recalls her transformative journey in awe.
“How could I have felt that so powerfully to the point where my body was seizing?” she asks now. “We all have negative conversations going on in your head that can take the wheel. You have to take the wheel back, and I definitely did.”
And while Perry admits the process at the time was unbearable, she also notes how the devastation she felt was necessary for her to shift priorities.
“It got me out of this desperate loop of being the best pop star ever. I just really want to be a human being and have the dimension of life,” says Perry, who’s looking forward to a future filled with “family and love and laughing and coziness.”
“I get to live life, and I get to bring life into the world,” she adds. “Finding the gratitude in this pain has been a real journey, but the outcome is worth it.” And surprisingly, it wasn’t until recently the star felt ready for motherhood.
“I was really terrified of the idea two or three years ago. It was just like, I don’t know how I’m ever gonna do that. That’s crazy. I can barely take care of myself!” the singer, 35, revealed to PEOPLE in its latest cover story.
But after working through the Hoffman Process, a week-long retreat that aids participants into negative behaviors conditioned from childhood, during a deep depression over the past few years, Perry says she felt a shift.
“It changed my life, and it’s changed Orlando’s life and many of my friends’ lives,” she says. “It helped me re-wire how I think about myself and the habits and patterns of why I do something. It’s just given me a lot more freedom….I’m really glad that I got to check off a lot of boxes personally and professionally before I got to this place,” says Perry, whose sixth studio album, Smile, comes out on Aug. 28.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.